Earth's 10 Most Mysterious Lost Worlds

It seems like every square inch of planet Earth has already been discovered, observed and thoroughly analyzed. Luckily, there are many places around the world that remain largely uncharted and full of mystery. Here are 10 of the most mysterious lost worlds on planet Earth just waiting to be explored. Which will be your next trip destination?

Earth's  Most Mysterious Lost Worlds - Melville Range

10. Melville Range is a headland on the eastern coast of the Cape York Peninsula in Australia. To its west lies Princess Charlotte Bay. It is part of the Cape Melville National Park. The headland has been described as a "lost world". Several animal species have existed in an isolated section of rainforest for millions of years. A field of granite boulders has prevented bushfires from affecting the area and kept moisture in. In March 2013, a team of scientists and filmmakers joined the ranks of the few human visitors to the misty rain forest atop the Melville Range, a small mountain range on Cape Melville, part of northeastern Australia's Cape York Peninsula. The fauna and flora found near Cape Melville is diverse and includes several endemic species, including the Foxtail Palm the Cape Melville leaf-tailed gecko, the Cape Melville shade skink and the Blotched boulder-frog.

Earth's  Most Mysterious Lost Worlds - Sima Humboldt

9. Sima Humboldt (Sima Mayor) is an enormous sinkhole located on the summit of the plateau of Sarisarinama tepui in Bolivar State, Venezuela. It is unusual for several reasons, including its enormous size and depth, its location on the top of the only forested tepui, having a patch of forest on its base and also due to the weathering process that formed this sinkhole. The feature is named after scientist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt. Sima Humboldt, is so large that it has its own ecosystem at the bottom, where early research found an impressive number of plant species that were new to science. Considered a mystical and evil place by locals, this sinkhole is like a lost world embed into another.

Earth's  Most Mysterious Lost Worlds - East Scotia Ridge

8. East Scotia Ridge - At a depth of 2,400 meters (7,874 ft) in Southern Ocean lies a unique aquatic biotope found in 2012. In a place warmed by hydrothermal vents reaching up to temperatures of 3820C (7190F) live massive colonies of previously unknown species that have been found thriving in the hot and dark enviroment. So far, scientists have discovered a large variety of new albino species like octopus, yeti lobster, an amazing crab that seems to use its hair to grow bacteria allowing it to detoxify the poisonous water.

Earth's  Most Mysterious Lost Worlds - Palawan Highlands

7. Palawan Highlands - In 2007, a team of botanists journeyed to an isolated corner of the Palwan Island. They discovered exotic species of flora that cannot be seen anywhere else, on clustered atop Mount Victoria and Mount Sagpaw. These included pink ferns, blue mushrooms and a carnivorous pitcher plant so big it feeds on rodents and small monkeys.

Earth's  Most Mysterious Lost Worlds - Bosavi Crater

6. Bosavi Crater - Mount Bosavi is a mountain in the Southern Highlands province, Papua New Guinea. It is the collapsed cone of an extinct volcano on the Great Papuan Plateau, part of the Kikori River basin. The crater is approximately 4 km wide and 1 km deep; it is home to a number of endemic species. A 2009 expedition by an international team of scientists and a television crew from the BBC Natural History Unit discovered more than 40 previously undescribed species, including 16 frogs, at least 3 fish, several insects and spiders, a bat, and a giant rat, measuring 82 cm in length and weighing approximately 1.5 kg. Mount Bosavi is also the type locality for Pseudohydromys pumehanae, a recently described species of moss-mouse.

Earth's  Most Mysterious Lost Worlds - Movile Cave

5. Movile Cave is a cave in Constanta County, Romania discovered by Cristian Lascu in 1986 a few kilometers from the Black Sea coast. It is notable for its unique groundwater ecosystem rich in hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide but very poor in oxygen. Life in the cave has been separated from the outside for the past 5.5 million years and it is based completely on chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis. The air in the cave is very different from the outer atmosphere. The level of oxygen is only a third to half of the concentration found in open air. Forty-eight species, among them leeches, spiders, scorpions and insects, were found inside the cave, of which 33 are endemic. The food chain is based on chemosynthesis in the form of methane and sulfur oxidising bacteria, which in turn release nutrients for fungi and other bacteria. This forms microbial mats on the cave walls and the surface of lakes and ponds that is grazed on by some of the animals. The grazers are then preyed on by predatory species.

Earth's  Most Mysterious Lost Worlds - Mount Roraima

4. Mount Roraima is the highest of the Pakaraima chain of tepui plateaus in South America. The tabletop mountains of the park are considered some of the oldest geological formations on Earth, dating back to some two billion years ago in the Precambrian. It is said to be a strange country of unearthly landscapes and unique beasts, inspiring Arthur Conan-Doyle's novel The Lost World. It rains almost every day of the year. Almost the entire surface of the summit is bare sandstone, with only a few bushes and algae present. Low scanty and bristling vegetation is also found in the small, sandy marshes that intersperse the rocky summit. Many of the species found on Roraima are unique to the plateau. Plants such as pitcher plants, Campanula, and the rare Rapatea heather are commonly found on the escarpment and summit.

Earth's  Most Mysterious Lost Worlds - Challenger Deep

3. Challenger Deep is the deepest known point in the Earth's seabed hydrosphere, with a depth of 10,898 to 10,916 m (35,755 to 35,814 ft) by direct measurement from submersibles, and slightly more by sonar bathymetry. It is in the Pacific Ocean, at the southern end of the Mariana Trench near the Mariana Islands group. The extreme environment features unusual vents expelling liquid carbon dioxide and giant amoebas adapted to high pressure. It has only been visited on four brief occasions in history. These expeditions measured very similar depths of 10,898 to 10,916 metres (35,755 to 35,814 ft).

Earth's  Most Mysterious Lost Worlds - Son Doong cave

2. Son Doong cave is world's largest cave, located in Quang Binh province, Vietnam. It is found by a local man named Ho Khanh in 1991 and was recently discovered in 2009 by British cavers, led by Howard Limbert. The name "Son Doong" cave means "mountain river cave", It was created 2-5 million years ago by river water eroding away the limestone underneath the mountain Where the limestone was weak, the ceiling collapsed creating huge skylights. The cave runs for approximately 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) and is punctuated by 2 large dolines, which are areas where the ceiling of the cave has collapsed. The dolines allow sunlight to enter sections of the cave and has resulted in the growth of trees as well as other vegetation. The cave contains some of the tallest known stalagmites in the world, which are up to 70 m tall. Behind the Great Wall of Vietnam were found cave pearls the size of baseballs, an abnormally large size.

Earth's  Most Mysterious Lost Worlds - Lake Vostok

1. Lake Vostok, Antarctica is huge; in fact it's one of the largest lakes in the world. Lake Ontario is close in size, but Lake Vostok is double its depth. The deepest portions of Lake Vostok, from 2.5 miles down, have been sealed off by ice for the last 15 million years. Samples taken from deep within the lake contained the DNA of unrecognized species, meaning science has much to discover isolated beneath this ice.